Mod is a subculture that began in London in 1958 and spread throughout Great Britain and elsewhere, eventually influencing fashions and trends in other countries, and continues today on a smaller scale. Focused on music and fashion, the subculture has its roots in a small group of stylish London-based young men in the late 1950s who were termed modernists because they listened to modern jazz. Elements of the mod subculture include fashion (often tailor-made suits); music (including soul, rhythm and blues, ska, jazz, and freakbeat); and motor scooters (usually Lambretta or Vespa). The original mod scene was associated with amphetamine-fuelled all-night dancing at clubs.

Mod Revival

Mod revival was a music genre and subculture that started in England in 1978 and later spread to other countries (to a lesser degree). The mod revival's mainstream popularity was relatively short, although its influence lasted for decades. The mod revival post-dated a Teddy Boy revival, and mod revivalists sometimes clashed with Teddy Boy revivalists, skinhead revivalists, casuals, punks and rival gang members.


Examples of Mod Clothing Include:

  • For Women:
    • Straight or A-line dresses worn above the knee in fabrics that hold their shape
    • Geometric shift dress (example: the Mondrian dress)
    • Op Art prints
    • Bold, geometric patterns like British flags, polka-dots, and stripes
    • Mid-calf white go-go boots with pointed toes and flat heels
    • Chelsea boots
    • Mary Janes
    • Low kitten heels and flats
    • Plastic-belted trench coat
    • Knitted jersey mini-dresses with opaque and colorful tights
    • "Wet look" PVC coats
    • Skinny-rib knitted sweaters in stripes or solid bright block colors
    • Patent-leather square-toed shoes and pilgrim shoes with buckles
    • Bold white/blue/gray eye shadow applied all over the eyelid
    • White/nude lipstick or lips painted over with pale matte foundation
    • Groomed natural eyebrows
    • Thick black winged eyeliner applied all the way around the eye
    • Thick mascara or doll-like false eyelashes
    • Sheepskin coats
    • Suede/leather mini-coats
    • Dresses with low-slung, wide loops to hold a hipster belt
    • Plain or button-up A-line miniskirts worn with sandals in warmer months and knee-high boots in colder months
    • Tunic dresses worn over polo-neck sweaters
    • Ankle-length bell-bottom trousers
    • Beehive hair or short bob with bangs
    • "Five point" Vidal Sassoon haircut: a short, angular five pointed pixie cut.
    • Large plastic bracelets
    • Huge round plastic earrings clipped on the ear
    • Lucite rings with polka dots
    • Big or small boxy over-the-shoulder handbags in bright colors, or geometric designs
    • Clear/white painted almond-shaped nails
    • Peter Pan collars
  • For Men:
    • Tailor-made three-button black/grey/brown suits with narrow lapels, vests, and pocket squares
    • Thin ties
    • Button-down collar shirts
    • Wool/cashmere jumpers (crewneck or V-neck)
    • Chelsea or Beatle boots
    • Clarks Desert lace-up boots
    • Oxfords
    • Levis jeans, shrunk to fit
    • Slim-fit chinos or tapered trousers
    • Either a Fred Perry polo shirt or John Smedley knit polo shirt buttoned all the way to the top
    • Turtleneck
    • Green/tan parka to protect your outfit while riding on your scooter
    • Newsboy caps
    • Brightly striped boating blazers
    • Harrington jacket
    • Shaggy hair or a bowl haircut
    • Buttons from mod bands and British flag pins
    • Round glasses

Key Designers: Mary Quant, Caroline Charles, Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin, Paco Rabanne, André Courrèges, Rudi Gernreich, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin


The British rock/Britpop band Blur played an important role in the Mod revival in the 1990s in the U.K.

A Mod revival/Punk Rock band called The Jam spearheaded the Mod revival movement in the 1970's, with the head of the band, Paul Weller, often called "The Modfather."


Movies/TV Shows

Examples of Mod movies/TV shows include:

  • Ready Steady Go! (1963 - 1966)
  • A Hard Day's Night (1964)
  • Blowup (1966)
  • Catch Us If You Can (1966)
  • Ferry Cross the Mersey (1965)
  • To Sir With Love (1967)
  • Smashing Time (1967)
  • The Touchables (1968)
  • Wonderwall (1968)
  • The Mod Squad (1968 - 1973)
  • Quadrophenia (1979)
  • The Austin Powers films (1997 - 2002)


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